One of my Twitter followers asked me if I was going to rename my blog, Lessons From the Beginning of a Remarriage now that I am going to be married again. She continued by noting how it had to be strange promoting a book about divorce while I was preparing to wed. I love the idea and the nature of the title, but the name of this blog will not be changing.
When I first found myself suddenly single, I looked online for support. I found two broad types of divorce blogs and support groups: those populated by people in the thick of the shock and pain (hereby dubbed “the purgers”) and those run by people who kept the pain at a distance (“the sanitizers”). I identified with the purgers; after all, I had plenty of anger and sadness to share myself at that time (I could kvetch with the best of them!) . However, I also recognized that spending time sharing sob stories would not help me heal. So I moved on. The sanitizers made me ill in those early months. They made divorce seem like something entirely rational or they chose to take a Pollyanna stance, making it out to be all sunshine and roses (How to Throw a Great Divorce Party!). They had some good points, but I couldn’t relate and I wasn’t willing to listen since I didn’t believe they had ever felt my pain.
I chose not to share my story until I was past the worst of it. My intent from the beginning was to help people and I needed to make sure my own oxygen mask was securely fastened before I attempted to aid others. At the same time, I knew I didn’t want to be a sanitizer. I may not have felt the pain myself anymore (true at least most of the time), but I certainly hadn’t forgotten its sting. I write about the early pain so those who are there don’t feel alone and those who are healing know that I understand the anguish. I write about the healing process to give support and assistance for those who are struggling. Finally, I write about dating and remarriage to give hope to all.
My topics of choice have naturally evolved as I’ve moved on. I no longer talk as much about my personal divorce experience and I bring in more about love after divorce. That’s natural and I have to believe that the blog, like me, will continue to evolve. At this point, there is a divide between my blog and my life. I still write about divorce yet I rarely think or talk about it in my daily life. It’s really not that different than the math I teach. Even though I may solve equations all day at work, I do not bring them home with me (even though my students seem to think I do math all evening for fun!).
(There are exceptions. For example, just today, my coworker mentioned that many of our students this coming year are in single parent homes. She knew I was divorced but didn’t know any of the story. She said she had a hard time understanding why someone would divorce, especially with children in the picture. She is coming from her experience where divorce is very rare. I shared with her my story and some of the stories that have been shared with me. By the time we parted, I think she had more understanding and compassion as well as a little insecurity when she realized that no marriage is divorce-proof.)
It is strange sometimes writing about divorce while a wedding contract sits beside my computer. But it’s strange, not bad. On a personal level, I can still learn from looking back at my own experiences and hearing about those of my readers. Even more importantly, I want to show other people that you can laugh again after crying, trust again after betrayal and love again after divorce.
I will still write about divorce from the perspective of someone who has been there and moved on. After all, for every ending, there is a new beginning. Maybe the most appropriate title for the blog would be, Lessons From the End of a Marriage, the Middle of Healing and the Beginning of a Remarriage. But that would be one hell of a URL! 🙂